The Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS), is an independent organization within the IRS. Led by the National Taxpayer Advocate, TAS is your voice at the IRS.
The National Taxpayer Advocate’s Annual Report to Congress creates a dialogue at the highest levels of government to address taxpayers’ problems, protect taxpayers’ rights, and ease taxpayers’ burden. Some of the problems discussed in this report were first identified when taxpayers came to TAS for help in resolving problems with the IRS.
The National Taxpayer Advocate delivers this report directly to the tax-writing committees in Congress (the House Committee on Ways and Means and the Senate Committee on Finance), with no prior review by the IRS Commissioner, the Secretary of the Treasury, or the Office of Management and Budget.
The primary sections of the report include:
As “an independent voice for the taxpayer within the IRS,” in this Special Focus, the National Taxpayer Advocate has attempted to identify and make recommendations to address the challenges the IRS faces to become a 21st century, taxpayer-centric tax administrator. The first and most obvious is the compelling need for tax reform. In our first legislative recommendation, Simplify the Internal Revenue Code Now, we describe in detail the burdens the current, hideously complex Code imposes on taxpayers and the IRS alike. But suffice it to say here that a Code consisting of four million words and requiring six billion hours of taxpayer time when meeting their filing requirements is simply too complex to administer well.
Each year’s Annual Report to Congress identifies at least 20 of the most serious problems facing taxpayers and offers recommendations to fix them. These issues can affect taxpayers’ basic rights and the ways they pay taxes or receive refunds, even if they’re not involved in a dispute with the IRS.
As your voice at the IRS, the National Taxpayer Advocate uses the Annual Report to elevate these problems and recommend solutions to Congress and the highest levels of the IRS.
The Annual Report to Congress includes recommendations for new federal tax laws or changes to current ones.
The National Taxpayer Advocate (NTA) places a high priority on working with the tax-writing committees in Congress. In addition to submitting legislative proposals in each Annual Report, the NTA meets regularly with members of Congress and their staffs, and testifies at hearings on the problems faced by taxpayers to give Congress an opportunity to receive and consider the taxpayer’s perspective.
An analysis of the top ten most litigated issues in federal courts.
For the National Taxpayer Advocate, thorough research and analysis of current tax issues and trends is a vital part of the Annual Report. The Taxpayer Advocate Service research projects yield accurate, insightful data that inform her as she advocates for taxpayers, and strengthen her authority and arguments before the IRS and Congress.
The National Taxpayer Advocate is releasing this Volume III of literature reviews as a supplement to her 2016 Annual Report to Congress. These literature reviews contain additional commentary and an extensive listing of articles, reports, and discussions providing a broader context for seven of the Most Serious Problems presented in Volume I. To better understand the problems and burdens currently faced by taxpayers and develop effective remedies, it is helpful to look beyond the customer experience within the IRS.
The National Taxpayer Advocate hopes this resource inspires further informed conversation and research about strengthening taxpayer rights and developing innovative customer-centric tax administration.